I have heard some rumours that It is possible there may be some attacks on unsuspecting hospital management teams, by a shadowy hit squad who strike ruthlessly if you do not follow their fundamentalist line to the letter.

What sort of protective action do you suggest?

Worried, Barnet

These rumours are very much exaggerated, and I have no credible intelligence which indicates such an attack by Alan's CHI Leader network is likely, but you never know. You must keep your guard up and be prepared for all eventualities. The Department of Health suggests you fit bullet-proof doors to the filing room and ensure that your director of finance is kept under surveillance at all times. Above all, you must carry on as normal. . . you know. . . eliminating waiting lists, living within your budget and getting three stars. After all, these are the things which give us the moral high ground and make our great nation quite nice. By the way, I'll be travelling to Damascus, Jerusalem, Bahrain, Moscow, Uzbekistan, Islamabad and Dorking over the next two days to make sure our friends and allies fully support our aims and offer such help as we may need in this great crusade - things like spare beds, surplus nurses and press censorship.

In these difficult times, do not you think we all need something to cheer us up ? I remember my grandad talking about 'ITMA' during the Second World War and he said it was worth another three divisions. What was ITMA, and can we get some now ?

Armchair, Tunbridge Wells

Well, ITMA was indeed a very good thing for cheering up the troops. The initials stood for It is that Manager Again. It was a radio show a bit like a cross between The News Quiz and Songs of Praise, where every week a cast of cheeky characters kept hospital managers entertained. My favourite character was Mrs Mopp, who used to check on the cleaning at the hospitals she visited with her cheery cry of: 'Can I do you in, sir?' Laugh? I thought I would got a knighthood.

One of my other favourites was the man from the ministry. This character was played by Tony Handy and he was always getting in a terrible state with new projects and standards. I am sure he reminds me of someone, but I can't think who.